Should have been bigger: 11 big songs that have missed the Top 40 this year

The Top 40 can be a tough nut to crack. We look at some of the best tracks of the year so far to miss out on a place.

We’re just over halfway through the year, and while when it comes to singles, we’re all about that holy Top 40, some tracks, for whatever reason, don’t make it.  

It doesn’t mean it’s a bad song or artist. Sometimes they’re just unlucky, others it’s as simple a fact as, that week, everybody liked the other songs a bit more.

But we wouldn’t want you to miss out, so that with that in mind, just for a change, we’re looking a little outside the Top 40 at some of the biggest songs of the year that missed out on a placing. Just goes to show… it really is all down to you.

Oh, and these are in no particular order, of course.

1. Giorgio Moroder feat. Sia – Déjà Vu

Released: April 17
Chart peak: outside the Top 100

There was huge excitement around the return of super-producer Giorgio Moroder, the mastermind behind million-selling Donna Summer track I Feel Love, along plenty of others, and contributor to Daft Punk’s hit album Random Access Memories.

At 74 years young, Giorgio enlisted a host of stars for his comeback project, including Britney SpearsKelis and Kylie Minogue. That extra tough of pop glitter did the trick and Déjà Vu became his first album to chart in the Top 40 in June 2015.

Buzz single Right Here Right Now feat. Kylie introduced the album promo but missed the Top 100, as did the uplifting title track with Sia in full on “belting it out at the disco” mode.

MORE: Giorgio Moroder’s Official Chart archive 

2. M.O – Preach

Released: April 24
Chart peak: Number 51

Created from the ashes of girlbands Mini Viva and Duchess, plucky R&B group M.O had a near miss this year with their 90s-tastic Preach.

Despite tinges of TLC and tight dance routines, Preach didn’t make it to the Top 40, landing at Number 51. It’s the second time M.O have come within sniffing distance of the Top 40 – Dance On My Own peaked at Number 49 in 2014. So. Close.

Will it be third time lucky with the next release? We’ve got everything crossed!

MORE: M.O’s Official Chart archive 

3. Leona Lewis – Fire Under My Feet

Released: June 7
Chart peak: Number 51

Last time we saw Leona was in 2013, when she was brightening up our Yuletide no end with the delightful One More Sleep. Skip forward a year and a half and Leona was asserting her independence and set to release her first new music since parting company with her record company.

The rousing Fire Under My Feet, an energetic cross between Adele and Avicii, saw Leona dealing with her demons and starting afresh. While the track didn’t make the Top 40, reaching Number 51 in the first week of release, Leona’s set to release her fourth album I Am in September, which includes a song written by queen of the ballads Diane Warren.

MORE: Leona’s Official Chart archive 

4. Madonna – Ghosttown

Released: April 19
Chart peak: Outside the Top 100

Thanks to a show-stopping performance (almost literally) at the BRIT Awards, Madonna staged a comeback to the Official Singles Chart with Living For Love, the lead track from album Rebel Heart, reaching Number 26.

Its follow-up Ghosttown was first heard in December 2014 when, to combat hackers on the brink of leaking Rebel Heart in its entirety, Madonna rushed out six of the album’s tracks so fans could listen to them as she intended.

As it had already been around a while, and despite a guest appearance from cult TV show Empire’s leading man Terrence Howard, Ghosttown didn’t score a place in the Top 100. Diplo, who worked with Madge on Rebel Heart, thought the track deserved a bit more attention.

“It already sucks to be a woman in the music industry, but to be a boss woman is even harder,” the DJ producer told Rolling Stone. “She sold out her tour in minutes, but no one seems to want her to succeed. Her song ‘Ghosttown’ was a guaranteed Number One for anybody else, but she didn’t get a fair shot.”

Follow-up Bitch I’m Madonna also went under the radar, but the album peaked at Number 2, so it’s not all bad news.

MORE: Madonna’s Official Chart archive 

5. Adam Lambert – Ghost Town

Released: June 7
Official Chart peak: Number 71

From one Ghosttown (all one word) to another (albeit with two words – do keep up). Adam Lambert staged a huge comeback earlier this year with his third album The Original High. It was a big success, reaching Number 8 to give the king of the Glamberts his first UK Top 10 album.

Despite plenty of buzz and lots of fan support, the moody, unpredictable Ghost Town didn’t crack the Top 40. Instead, the track had to make do with a peak of 71.

MORE: Adam Lambert’s Official Chart archive 

6. Ciara – I Bet

Released: April 14
Official Chart Peak: Number 56

She’s had four Top 10s, including a Number 1 debut with Goodies, and earlier this year Ciara made her return with I Bet.

I Bet had everything: a slick slow-jam sound and a video featuring Ciara in the cleanest leg warmers you’ll find this side of dance class, but it couldn’t pirouette its way into the Top 40. Number 56 was as far as I Bet would go.

MORE: Ciara’s Official Chart archive 

7. Seinabo Sey – Younger

Released: May 20
Official Chart Peak: Number 61 

After winning a clutch of awards in her native Sweden, Seinabo Sey made her debut assault on the UK singles chart earlier this year with electrifying Younger.

The Kygo remix of the track had hit Number 1 in Norway, but in the UK Younger missed the Top 40, landing at Number 61.

Luckily, despite the subject of the song ("OMG look how old we’re all getting", basically), there’s plenty of time for Seinabo to score a hit.

8. Shura – 2Shy

Released: March 10
Official Chart Peak: Outside the Top 100

Longlisted for the BBC Music’s Sound of 2015 poll, Manchester-born Shura looked a shoo-in for  hit with her Janet Jackson-esque slow 2Shy.

On the bright side, Shura’s debut album is slated for release later this year.

9. Janet Jackson – No Sleeep

Released: June 24
Official Chart Peak: Outside the Top 100 

Speaking of JJ, our very favourite member of pop royalty ended what felt like decades of silence earlier this year. Announcing a new album and world tour, Janet dropped her first single in over five years, No Sleeep, a ‘90s-style jam with Janet’s signature breathy vocals and a killer bassline.

The megastar enlisted the help of J Cole, who wasn’t even 1 year old when Janet scored her first Top 10 hit, but so far the track hasn’t broken the Top 40. But thanks to a slick video and the album being on its way, we reckon it might not be all over for No Sleeep just yet.

MORE: Janet Jackson’s chart archive 

10. Selena Gomez – Good For You

Released: June 30
Official Chart Peak: Number 47

A change in direction for Selena, last seen as Taylor Swift’s nemesis in the Bad Blood video, the star dialled things back after her dancey collaboration with Zedd, I Want You To Know.

Good For You, which is moodier than Lana Del Rey’s eyebrows and wouldn’t sound out of place on one of her albums, features A$AP Rocky and almost made it to the Top 40, reaching Number 47.

Good For You is still lingering around the low 50s of the Official Singles Chart – is there time for it to nab a Top 40 slot?

MORE: Selena Gomez’s Official Chart archive  

11. Will Young – Love Revolution

Released: March 27
Official Chart Peak: Outside the Top 100

As a teaser for what would become his fourth Number 1 album, 85% Proof, Love Revolution saw Will Young change tack and go retro on us.

In this ‘60s-style track, Will even managed to weave in a bit of a techno song in the chorus – Tomcraft’s Number 1 banger Loneliness. Now, you weren’t expecting that were you?

MORE: Will Young’s Official Chart archive 

Have we missed any out? Which songs of 2015 do you reckon should have made the Top 40? Lay down your vocals on FacebookTwitter, or maybe try a remix in the comments below.

Wouldn't it be great to listen to all these songs right now? Yep? Well here's a playlist:

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Dan Conway


The charts are messed up nowadays, especially with no chance to promote on TV anymore. Bring back TOTP pronto!


Tony Bittner


Adam Lambert and Will Young, talented and handsome singers. I like them.




mariah carey - infinity ...too pity


Thomas Sales


It was idiotic of Gomez's label to release a different song for the video than for radio release given that's where much of the sales come from. I guarantee you that had it been the same record it would have made the top forty.


Lucas Diego


Blur tracks like Go Out and Ong Ong deserve a better charts!!




Great idea for a feature. For much of this year, an exploration of great songs which have fallen short of a top 40 place during the entire history of the UK singles charts is being explored more fully at Into the Popvoid. They too have noticed an upturn in 'lost classics' recently.


John Wilson


thought I was being original but Niall got there first


John Wilson


Is it just a bad year or do this many good songs normally fall into the pop void?




all because of spotify




Will Young weaved Andrea Martin's "Share The Love" into his track; Tomcraft sampled this record for his Number 1.


Jay Phoenix


Another track worthy of a mention is the infectiously catchy "Sirens" by newcomer Stephen Langstaff. A great song and the video is certainly worth checking out as is his brilliant cover of Sia's "Chandalier".




You forgot Let In The Sun and Higher than Higher by Take That. You can blame the blatant Ageism of radio stations like BBC Radio 1. Music should be judged by quality not by a performers age.


Steven Oldham


Markus Feehilly should be on this list!

Also the new way of calculating the charts doesn't help any of these songs. Love Revolution for example was well in the top 100 on sales alone (how it should be!)


Micael Barradas


I love Fire Under My Feet by Leona, Ghost Town by either Adam or Madonna, Déjà Vu by Giorgio Moroder ft Sia and Bet by Ciara. These are such great songs by amazing artists, but so underrated.




They should all fire their promo and publicist people. Some of those artists are way too old school. It's 2015!!!

But: good taste British people re the Selena Gomez song. That is some crap, whew.




Adam Lamberts Ghost Town is such a Cool Jam like none other. .it pulls you's lyrics are deep and the hooks and beat are intoxicating...then add in Adams Flawless's the best Jam. Adams a Vocal Phenomenon with a voice second to No One and his music is deep and meaningful. His new album The Original High is loaded with top hits and they still haven't released another song yet. This new album is insanely good! It needs to be heard!
Strange that Ghost Town is on radio all over the USA and international but I still can't get my 3 Local top pop stations in Milwaukee Wi. to play Ghost Town! That's what's WRONG in radio today. They play the Same 10-15 songs on rotation and leave other Amazing music to go unheard! Millions only follow their radio and are missing massive talent because radio is only playing the same trash. Most of the "songs" radio plays is an Autotune studio created computer voice and they can't sing good Live at all. That's ridiculous, yet these same singers have 4 to 6 songs on the radio at once! Trust me people want Real Deal Phenomenal Live singers/Performers and that what Adam Lambert is!


Willie D


Im gonna be honest, all these songs are terrible except Madonna Ghosttown, Adam Lambert Ghost Town (two similar names also equals radio playlist murder-suicide) and to a lesser extent Ciara I Bet, should all have made the Top 100. But thats just me.




G.R.L 'Lighthouse' deserves a mention only got to No.55. Such a moving song, great song & chorus. Also a fitting tribute to the unexpected death of Simone Battle, such a young age to pass away.


Willie D


Unexpected death? She commit suicide.


H.R. Mathias


As a default, the United States rules celebrity deaths as suicides if there is insufficient evidence of both murder and suicide in order to avoid the costs and resources of undergoing a murder investigation. Battle left no suicide note. We cannot say that it was a suicide any more than a murder. "Unexpected death" is a more accurate statement.




The Janet song is too good, it's nice to see a mature artist not following trends. GO MISS JACKSON




Some great songs there. It also still puzzles me how Markus Feehily's 'Love Is a Drug' only got to No.56. It deserved to be so a lot higher...